I get questions all the time about missing buttons for closing, minimizing and maximizing the Lightroom window. For some reason these questions have become more common with Lightroom 6 and Classic.

The problem is that you are in a full-screen mode that hides the Lightroom bar with the buttons.

This bar in Lightroom with Close, Minimize and Maximize buttons goes missing

This bar in Lightroom with Close, Minimize and Maximize buttons goes missing on Mac systems. 

Lightroom Close, Minimize, Maximize buttons go missing in Windows

This bar goes missing in Windows / on PCs.

Which full-screen mode are you in?

  • Lightroom 6, CC 2015, cloud-based CC and Classic full-screen mode: Just a single photo shows full-screen (after hitting F). Hit Esc to exit this full-screen mode.
  • Lightroom’s legacy full-screen mode: The entire Lightroom application is visible except the bar with the Close / Minimize / Maximize buttons and possibly also the top menu bar. In Lightroom 6 and Classic, hit Shift-F once or twice to exit this full-screen mode. In Lightroom 5 or earlier, hit F once or twice.
  • Your Mac operating system’s full screen mode: You entered this by hitting the Maximize button (circled in the image below). To exit this, move your mouse to the very top of your monitor and wait until the bar with the buttons and the menu bar drop down. Click on the Maximize button again to exit this full screen mode. (In Windows, the Maximize button is the center one, but maximizing on Windows won’t hide the buttons as it does on Mac.)
How to get the button to close / minimze / maximize button to show

After the bars pop down, click on the Maximize button (circled in orange) to exit Mac OS full-screen mode.

Related Content: If you are missing panels, tools or other Lightroom elements, watch my video on how to recover them.